School has ended for many youths; they start to enjoy their summer vacation. One particular youth has finished high school for good. She is going to celebrate by going on vacation by herself.


"Oh sweetie, please be careful." My mom hugs me while I pack my suit case in the trunk of my car.

"Honey, you don't need to worry. Sera is 18 years old she can take care of herself." My dad is standing at the front door.

Mom continues to hug me and stroke my light brown hair while glaring at my dad. "Shut, up. I am just worried; I mean this is the first time she is going to vacation alone."

I pull away from my mom and look at her reassuringly. "You don't have to worry about anything. I will only be gone for a few days and I will be back," I smile at her.

"I know I shouldn't be worried but, I can't help it. I don't want my little girl to turn out like that Springer girl." She sighs. Let me explain, Samantha Springer was a girl who went missing three years ago. She had gone on vacation by herself and just disappeared. No one has found any trace of her, the last trace of her was the text she sent to her mom saying she was about to leave a gas station.

"You don't have to worry mom; I have a Taser in my hand bag." I pat the bag that is hanging off my shoulder.

"I know. I know, it's just you are 18 now and you are growing up so fast. You know that Springer girl was around your age when she disappeared, and she was going to the same beach you are. Are you sure you can't call any friends to go with you?" She squeezes my shoulder.

"The only thing you should be worried about is if she meets a boy while she is there." Dad says scoffing. After dad says that mom begins to freak out even more.

"Please don't bring any boys home. If you have urges, which I would prefer you wouldn't, use a condom."

"Omg, mom. I am not going to do that; you don't have to worry" I push her towards the house.

"Just be careful," She gives me a final hug before going by the door to stand with father.

"Yea. You have to come back and give me lots of cool gifts." Said my little brother from beside my dad. Jallen is my little brother; he is in the sixth grade.

"Okay sure, I will pick a shell for you." I call out over my back. I wave a goodbye to my family and get in my car. I turn the car on, choose a good music station and pull out of the driveway. As I pull out of the driveway I see my family in the rear view mirrors.

I get to the end of the road and my family is completely out of view. I continue driving until I reach downtown; as I reach a red light my phone goes off. It is a text from my friend, Mattie, she sent me a picture of her and her boyfriend.

Mattie is one of the reasons I am taking this vacation alone, or should I say her boyfriend is. She and I have known each other since freshman year. She is a great person…as long as she doesn't have a boyfriend. She is one of those girls who are completely dependent on their boyfriend when they have one. She'll go along with anything he says or does as long as he is there.

Her latest boyfriend, Dean, is the worst of all of them. He is a complete asshole with no filter. Mattie knows how bad it is as well. There was one incident; my family dog, Cliff, died. While he was still alive but in poor health Dean came over, for some reason. Dean made the comment "Wouldn't be so funny if I scared him right now and he died." To my face, and Mattie faked laughed at it. When they left she texted me saying she was sorry.

That was only one incident, there is also the fact that he does a lot of drugs. There was a lot of drama involving him this year and I just need to take a breather from it all.

I continue driving ignoring Mattie's text. I turn the radio station up; they are playing Stay by Alessia Cara. I continue driving while singing along to the song and every song afterwards.

After driving for a while I start to get hungry; luckily for me there is a small diner just up ahead. I park my car in the parking lot and walk in.

The diner doesn't have that many people in it. There is a jukebox playing in the corner. I go sit at one of the empty tables and grab a menu, the food is at a good price.

"What can I get for you?" A waitress walks up with a notepad ready to take my order.

"Um, I will have a double bacon cheeseburger with fries and a Pepsi please." I set my menu down. The waitress writes my order down and leaves.

I sit there for a minute or two playing with my hands before I get bored and pull out my phone. I decide to read what Mattie sent me. I open my messages and read the message under the picture.

'Wish we could have gone together.' Mattie was smiling in the picture while Dean is smoking weed. Honestly, I don't know what Mattie sees in him.

'Same, maybe next time…Just me and you' I send the message and got out of my messenger app. My phone goes off again.

'Fuk nah bish. U is not taking my gurl anywere without me' Just seeing the grammar I already know that it is Dean.

'Well, Dean, that isn't up to you now is it. It is up to Mattie and I.' I text back knowing where this is going.

'Well it would be more fun if all three of us went right. So If Dean doesn't go I don't go' Mattie text back like I knew she would. I don't respond, I leave her on read, and turn off my notifications.

This is too much, I came on this vacation to get away from stuff like that, I go to my games folder on my phone and open Toon Blast. I start to play level 237, I am kind of addicted to this game. I just love it.

I get to level 245 when someone comes and sits across from me. Startled, I look up from my phone to see who it is.

"Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." It is a man with a hoodie on. He has the hood up so I can't see much of his face. He is an older man, maybe is his thirties. He has brown skin with a lot of muscles. I can't see much of his face but from what I can see he has black hair and a black beard. He has what looks to be some kind of symbol tattooed on his cheek.

"Excuse me, lass" His accent is a bit different, he sounds Irish but at the same time not quite Irish. It's mixed with something else that I have never heard before. I snap out of it when I see him looking at me like I am crazy.

"Sorry, Um How can I help you sir?" my voice cracks a little.

The man smiles, "You can't help me just yet but, you will in the near future."

"What do you mean?" I scoot my chair back a little.

"You will find out soon enough…Sera" He gets up and begins to walk away

"Wait!" my voice cracks again. "How do you know my name?" He says nothing, just disappears.

What the hell just happened? Who the hell was that man? What did he want? My mind is racing with questions when the waitress comes out with my food.

"Here you go. Sorry for the wait." When my food comes out I stare at it for a minute, everything that just happened is fading. Soon I can't even remember what the man looked like. I forget all about it and start eating.

I finish eating and pay for my food, as I leave the diner I feel a pair of eyes on me. I look around but see no one, thinking it was just my imagination I continue to my car.

"Hey girly" Three men walk towards me, the middle one calls out while his friends snicker beside him. "What are you doing here?" They walk closer.

Ignoring them I speed up my pace towards my car. Before I can get there though the man on the right grabs my arm.

"Hey what's the rush?" he tries to pull me towards him. I try and push him off me but he just tightens his grip. He pulls me away from my car and I am trapped in between these three men. I don't panic, I have been through worse. "I can control this." I think to myself.

"Hey, why don't you come with us?" The man on the left says while the man on the right continues to pull me.

I use my free hand and unzip my hand bag and pull out a pocket knife. Quickly, I stab the man's hand making him release me. Before the other two have a chance to react, I slash them in the arms.

While they are reacting to their wounds I sprint to my car. I get in and drive off quickly. I don't stop until I'm about ten miles away, I make sure that I'm not being followed before calling my mom.

"Hello, Sera, how are you?"

"Mom, I just had a run in with three men. They tried taking me somewhere but I got away."

"What do you mean? Are you okay?" I can hear the panic rise in my Mom's voice.

"Yes I am okay. I was able to stab one in the hand and slash the other two in the arm." My car starts beeping.

"What is that sound Sera?" The gas light is flashing.

"My car needs gas. There is a gas station about five miles away from where I am at. Will you stay on the phone with me until I finish pumping my gas?"

"Of course."

Mom and I talk about how Jallen and dad are doing when I pull into the gas station. The sun is starting to set, luckily the gas station is right next to a motel.

I pull the car into the gas station and fill my tank up. After my tank is full I hang up with my mom and drive over to the Motels parking lot. I lock my car and walk into to motel. I pay for a room and go to it, once I get to my room I wash up, change into my pajamas and go to sleep.

I am running, running in the woods.

I hear something…yelling.

The yelling is getting louder…They're angry.

Who are they?

A hand…A hand reaching out for me.

"It's going to be okay" A man's voice

"You can't do it" A woman's voice

"You can."

"You can't."

"I will protect you"


I sit straight up, breathing heavily.

"What was that?" I can't remember what I was just dreaming about. I feel a chill run down my back.

"It was just a dream…Just a dream" repeating this phrase over and over as I try and calm down. Something about that dream, I have a bad feeling. One I have calmed down enough I go back to sleep.

I wake up the next morning, wash up, put some new clothes on and head out. I return my room keys to the front desk. I walk out to my car and get in. Before I pull off I text my mom telling her I am leaving the gas station.

I drive for about an hour without stopping.

The wind starts to pick up, weird strong winds weren't in the forecast. I ignore it and keep driving. The winds start to get faster and faster, I am staring to hear thunder.

I look out my rear view mirrors and see something weird happening behind. I look for a bit longer and realize it is a tornado starting to form. I pick up my speed but it is too late, the tornado touches the ground and comes right at me. Before I have time to react I am sucked into the whirlwinds.

I black out.


I can't breathe.

I open my eyes and I'm greeted by stinging saltwater. I begin to panic, I figure out which way is up and swim.

My lungs start to burn; I can see the sun so I swim faster. My lungs feel like fire and just as I feel like I can't hold my breath any longer I break the surface of the water.

I take a large gulp of the ocean air. I frantically look around to see where I am. I spot land and without a second thought begin the swim towards it.